APPLAUSE: Give the gift of life

NANAIMO – Only registered donors can make organ transplants possible.

To the Editor,

At seven years post liver transplant, I want to take this opportunity to thank my donor’s family and registered donors for having made the decision that makes transplants possible.

I understand this can be a difficult decision in some cases, especially if the donors themselves had not made their wishes known. I also want to wish registered potential donors and all other donor families a merry Christmas, happy new year as well as a long healthy and prosperous life.

It is so unfortunate the gift of life in the case of organ donation has to come at such a loss to others.

This, in many cases, happens during festive times such as Christmas and other holidays as these occasions are statistically when more accidents happen that can result in tragic loss of life.

This is a decision that cannot be avoided should someone die in such a way that they can be an organ donor and have not yet made that choice.

Their family will be asked to make that decision for them, and in some cases, may be too traumatize to make the right choice not knowing what their wishes might have been.

This decision is also particularly difficult in the case of children and should be made in advance by parents of children under 19. Unfortunately it takes a child to save a child in many cases due to organ size.

Please discuss this with children who are old enough to understand.

Please note that organ donation is not like giving blood. People can register regardless of age or any medical condition. The highly qualified transplant team will assess any potential donor’s organs and tissue at the time and may possibly match them to someone with the same medical condition.

The oldest solid organ donor in B.C. was 90 years of age. The criteria is the health of the organ not the age of the donor.

In closing I hope that anyone not having made the decision to register as an organ donor takes the time to do so online at www.transplant.bc.ca or 1-800-663-6189.

Serge Vaillancourt

Nanaimo

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